Posted in Extinction, Mammoths, Mastodons, Pleistocene

Mammoth

Outside my window shaggy shadows move among the firs. An immense shape assembles and disassembles in the wind.

Fourteen thousand years ago, mastodons and mammoths roamed North America, grazed alongside the buffalo.  Paleolithic peoples followed the woolly giants across the Bering Bridge to lands as game-rich as the Serengeti.  Projectile points can be found embedded in the bones of their prey.

But now the great ones are nearly everywhere gone.

Time twists as I stare out the window at the huge ghost facing me.  A giant form conjured from a smear of rhododendrons and shadows lifts his trunk into the wind, changes back into a bush beast with flowers in his stomach, and is extinct once again.

 

Author:

Cheryl Merrill’s essays have been published in Fourth Genre, Pilgrimage, Brevity, Seems, South Loop Review, Ghoti, Alaska Quarterly Review, Adventum and Isotope. “Singing Like Yma Sumac” was selected for the Best of Brevity 2005 and Creative Nonfiction #27. It was also included in the anthology Short Takes: Model Essays for Composition, 10th Edition. Another essay, “Trunk,” was chosen for Special Mention in Pushcart 2008. She is currently working on a book about elephants: Larger than Life: Living in the Shadows of Elephants.

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